1. Do away with New Year’s resolutions that focus only on doing, achieving, quitting, losing, or gaining. Real goals can only be reached by being more of who you are. Focus your attention there first because it is the cornerstone to everything else you want in life.
Resolve to love that YOU that you are! Yes, that includes all your flaws, failures, and whatever you have perceived to be shortcomings in the past. If you desire to change some aspect of yourself and to do, be, have, or achieve anything, the first place to start is with self-love, self-forgiveness, and total acceptance of what has been. Seek inner peace first, knowing that the past is in the past and what you are now left with are powerful lessons to use as tools for self-growth and success.
When we approach life with deep self-love we hand ourselves a new clean sheet from the inside out. We see others in the same light, and we give them more breaks to be who they are as well. We no longer have need to judge or control. Having strong self-love at the core enables us to be stronger, gentler, more wholesome, more loving, and more at peace from within. We glow, and as we smile with our hearts our outward smile to the world becomes more radiant, more real. We are more quipped to go where we want to go, do what we want to do with our lives, and become all that we want to become. We even look younger!
Remember, there is only one YOU in this great universe, and you have it in you to do, have, or be whatever you want. You are a gift, here to make a difference, and your being here is right on time whether you know it or not. You have seen only a tiny speck of what is to come through you, for you, and for the world around you. You simply need to embrace your divine within. Great things – changes, growth, and new aspirations – will only happen from a wholesome, loving heart-space. So, forget about the pressures of resolutions. Look within and love who you already are – an expression of divine love, creativity, brilliance, and uniqueness.
“The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.” – Oprah Winfrey
2. Don’t start your new year in nots – should-nots, do-nots, and better-nots! The only things you need to do away with are self-loathing, self-unforgiveness, and self-abatement. Take a look at your life – all of it – and see that you have always done your best with what you knew at the time. Even if you feel you didn’t, how productive will it be to hold any of it against yourself? Breathe a sigh of relief instead for all that you are NOW – the person you have become, the self-knowledge you have gained, and the wisdom you have gleaned. Pick up your torch, and hold it up high. You do not need to be MORE. Go ahead and define your desires instead of setting rules. Then own the truth that you are capable of whatever you focus on, from this day forward. Don’t focus on what NOT to do. Set your sights on new horizons, new opportunities
“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”
– Wayne Dyer
3. Take time to take care. Take daily care of yourself in every way. Instead of going on a diet, make a list of ways to pamper your body, soul, and spirit. Some examples might be un-rushed showers, brisk walks in fresh air, wholesome sleep, foot care, good nutrition, massage, pedicures & manicures, yoga, journaling, daily spiritual cleansing such as prayer or meditation. Fill up your cup in every way possible before giving yourself away to work, to goals, to others, or to any kind of deadlines. The only way you are going to lose weight, stay in shape, or quit an unhealthy habit is to fill up your cup with wholesome self-care first. Bad habits are a heart-cry – a reprieve from a life void of deep self-regard – sleep-deprivation, disorganization, procrastination, inadequate nutrition, and/or lack of fresh air and exercise. Do not give of yourself to life until your own cup is running over. Give from the overflow, and not from a dry or half-empty cup. If we live our lives as walking voids, giving from an empty heart, we feel resentment, fatigue, stress, and anxiety. We can still give, but we will have greater influence if we can be fully present, grounded, well, and centered.
“You need to make a commitment, and once you make it, then life will give you some answers.” – Les Brown
4. Learn, do, and enjoy! We are creators, born to create, play, and grow in our talents and abilities. Feed your mind and soul by learning new things – and do it for the sole delight of expanding your mind and opening up your heart to new experiences. Pick out books you would love to read. Sign up for a course you have always wanted to take (art, sewing, Reiki, rowing, card-making, candle-making, rock wall climbing, photography, creative writing, dance …). Treat yourself to interesting seminars, webinars, workshops, and weekend retreats. Our brains were not made to be dormant, dried-up wells. We are at our best when we are continuously refreshed with new knowledge, new skills, and new experiences. We naturally sleep better, smile easier, and have more energy when we are using our minds and stimulating our senses. Someone once said, “If you are not sure what you are good at or what you would like to work at, get busy at something – anything – and you will soon find out what you do best and what brings you the most joy.”
5. Let people in. We were not made to live in solitude, even if we are introverts. Expand your social circle, even if it is just one new friend. Exchange of ideas, communication, or just a smile can do wonders to our outlook and our mood. We need connection with others in order to know and experience life fully. Soul to soul, heart to heart, mind to mind connection, on a small scale or in a big way, can give us new inspirations or enlightened ideas, and cause us to know ourselves better. Other people show us who we are inside simply by being present with us – by being a mirror for us to see our own reactions, feelings, and truths. A great venue for meeting new people is a local meet-up group – www.meetup.com. Whatever you are interested in, you will most likely find a group that is already established in your area. If you do not want to commit to weekly or monthly group attendance, find one where that you can attend on a drop-in basis.
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” – Helen Keller
6. Share acts of kindness. If this sounds sacrificial, read on! Acts of kindness are rarely beneficial to just the receiver. I urge all of us to do acts of kindness for the circle of joy it holds. When you do an act of kindness your heart floods with wholesome well-being, joy, love and indescribable richness. The person who received the act of kindness feels grateful and deeply touched. Both giver and receiver have a good dose of restored faith in humanity. It feels warm. It feels whole. It feels right. Do it. Buy coffee for people. Volunteer at a shelter (for people or animals). Shovel snow for a neighbour (and they don’t have to be disabled or elderly. Do it for anybody … and see how you light up their day!). Allow a bit of your inner angel to come out often this year – to bless someone AND yourself immensely, immeasurably, and unforgettably!
“We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present”
– Marianne Williamson
Whatever you do in 2015, do it from a place of authenticity and love. Do not beat up on yourself anymore. You have done that enough already. Embrace life by letting go of regrets and doing away with fear of the future. Love yourself deeply as the unique and brilliant child you are in this big universe. Shine your light … but first come out from the behind the dark curtain of regret and self-condemnation, and turn that light ON.